1 of 2


rid·​i·​cule ˈri-də-ˌkyül How to pronounce ridicule (audio)
: the act of ridiculing : derision, mockery


2 of 2


ridiculed; ridiculing

transitive verb

: to make fun of
ridiculer noun
Choose the Right Synonym for ridicule

ridicule, deride, mock, taunt mean to make an object of laughter of.

ridicule implies a deliberate often malicious belittling.

consistently ridiculed everything she said

deride suggests contemptuous and often bitter ridicule.

derided their efforts to start their own business

mock implies scorn often ironically expressed as by mimicry or sham deference.

youngsters began to mock the helpless wino

taunt suggests jeeringly provoking insult or challenge.

hometown fans taunted the visiting team

Example Sentences

Noun She didn't show anyone her artwork for fear of ridicule. the early efforts by the suffragists to obtain voting rights for women were met with ridicule Verb The other kids ridiculed him for the way he dressed. They ridiculed all of her suggestions.
Recent Examples on the Web
For centuries, obesity has been a focus of scorn and ridicule. Susan Dunne, Hartford Courant, 16 Jan. 2023 And no other woman in television journalism had a longer career, with more hits and flops, scoops and controversies, praise and ridicule. Editors, USA TODAY, 2 Jan. 2023 The last showdown is loaded with sentiment but still painfully arch, which is probably why the film should be remembered simply as a curiosity—a fascinating adaptation that cannot overcome the scathing ridicule built into its source material. David Sims, The Atlantic, 31 Dec. 2022 The 2023 total also tops levels seen before Congress banned the practice in 2010 after some notorious earmarks drew widespread ridicule—and figured in the conviction of one lawmaker for accepting bribes. Byjeffrey Mervis, science.org, 29 Dec. 2022 Surround yourself with others who are not intimidated by failure and where there is encouragement in your undertakings rather than ridicule. Tyler Lang, Forbes, 29 Dec. 2022 As the gap between official data and public perception has grown, so has online ridicule. Chang Che, BostonGlobe.com, 25 Dec. 2022 The official tally has been met with disbelief and ridicule online, where posts mourning loved ones dying of Covid abound. Xiaofei Xu, CNN, 25 Dec. 2022 Throughout the trial, Weinstein’s lawyers used sexism, misogyny and bullying tactics to intimidate, demean and ridicule us survivors. Elizabeth Wagmeister, Variety, 21 Dec. 2022
Institutions that maintain traditionalist positions draw not simply ridicule from the wider world but widespread calls for punitive actions against them. Carl R. Trueman, WSJ, 10 Nov. 2022 Here in the United States, politicians and radio talk-show hosts regularly ridicule the notion of global warming and attack the integrity of climate scientists. Linda Marsa, Discover Magazine, 25 Mar. 2012 There are people out there helping, who want to help, who will believe you, who won’t ridicule you, who won’t deny what happened to you. Michelle Boorstein And Erin Cox, Anchorage Daily News, 18 Nov. 2022 Willy and his boys ridicule Bernard for being a studious nerd. Charles Mcnulty, Los Angeles Times, 9 Oct. 2022 Lubitsch, in a response published in the newspaper, argued that the best way to combat Nazis onscreen was to ridicule them, thereby puncturing their negative mystique. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, 8 Aug. 2022 Mastriano has a strongly right-wing voting record as a state legislator, while Oz, a celebrity TV doctor, has no previous political experience and has been easy to ridicule as out of touch with Pennsylvania voters. David Lauter, Los Angeles Times, 19 Aug. 2022 But Novak is too smart for that, and if anyone comes across badly here, it’s Ben, whom Novak is big enough and self-effacing enough to gently ridicule. Michael O'sullivan, Washington Post, 27 July 2022 The account's posts often ridicule left-wing stances on transgenderism, education and other topics. Anders Hagstrom, Fox News, 28 Aug. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ridicule.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History



French or Latin; French, from Latin ridiculum jest

First Known Use


1675, in the meaning defined above


1680, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ridicule was in 1675

Dictionary Entries Near ridicule

Cite this Entry

“Ridicule.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ridicule. Accessed 29 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
rid·​i·​cule ˈrid-ə-ˌkyü(ə)l How to pronounce ridicule (audio)
: the act of making fun of someone or something : derision


2 of 2 verb
ridiculed; ridiculing
: to make fun of : deride
ridiculer noun

More from Merriam-Webster on ridicule

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